This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from August 1 through 15.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from August 1 through 15.

Northern California/Sacramento

Women Mean Business: Getting Ready for Holiday Sales
Date: August 8, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 275 5th St. San Francisco, CA 94103 (map it)
Contact: Erin Morris | emorris@rencenter.org | (415) 348-6227
Organization: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Fee: $15

It’s never too early to prepare your business for a busy holiday season! Join us for an evening of networking, panel discussion, and light dinner with experienced business owners and experts on:

  • Digital marketing
  • Inventory
  • Finance
  • E-commerce

You don’t have to be a business owner to attend this event! Anyone who is interested in hearing from experts on these topics is welcome. Speakers include Jennie Lennick of Jenny Lemons, Laurie Kanes of 12 Small Things and Laurie O’Hara of Working Solutions.

Click here to register for this event.

Marketing your business
Date: August 9, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1887 Monterey Rd. 2nd Floor San Jose, CA, 95112 (map it)
Contact: Mimi Hernandez | mimihndz@sbdchc.org | (408) 385-9151
Organization: Silicon Valley SBDC
Fee: Free

This free workshop will help business owners develop tools to find clients and extend your client base to increase sales.

Click here to register for this event.

Women’s Empowerment Night
Date: August 13, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: Moseley’s Hilltop Tasting Room
2158 Hilltop Dr. Redding, CA 96002 (map it)
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute
Fee: Free

AWE Redding California, WE Thrive Women’s Business Center at JEDI Group, and Women of Vision Movement invite you to an evening of networking, wine, and fun at Escape Redding.

When women support each other, incredible things happen. Come and witness magic unfold as we embrace our individual uniqueness, make new connections, strengthen bonds. and share creative approaches to career, business, and life!

Agenda:

  • 6pm – 7pm: Networking and Introductions
  • 7pm – 8pm: Optional fun at Escape Redding or stay in the Moseley’s Tasting Room to make new connections. Purchase your own wine at Moseley’s Tasting Room.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Cash Flow Management
Date: August 8, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: 1055 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 900B Los Angeles, CA 90017 (map it)
Contact: Daniel Ing | ding@pacela.org |(213) 353-9400
Organization: PACE Finance Corporation
Fee: Free

Understanding cash flow is crucial for every business to ensure healthy growth and business expansion. Join this workshop to learn:

  • What is cash flow
  • How to manage cash flow effectively
  • How to create a sound financial plan
  • How to calculate a break-even point

Click here to register for this event.

Getting Started with Social Media – Using Social Media to Drive Leads
Date: August 8, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: Chaffey College—Info Tech Center 3rd Floor Room 310
13170 7th Street Chino, CA 91710 (map it)
Contact: Diana Cescolini | diana.cescolini@scorevolunteer.org | (951) 652-4390
Organization: Inland Empire SCORE
Fee: $20

Learn the difference between Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+ for your business in this seminar on social media.

Topics include:

  • How to choose the right social media platforms for your business
  • How to get started with each platform
  • How to use each social media platform to drive business

Click here to register for this event.

Empowering Mompreneurs: 3 Simple Steps to Avoid Burnout
Date: August 15, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1003 East Cooley Dr. Suite 109 Colton, CA 92324 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

Being a mompreneur is about more than just work-life balance. It takes organization, management, and a serious commitment. Join scientist and mompreneur facilitator Tonya Moore and learn simple, proven strategies on how to have both a happy family and a thriving business.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Google Tools to Start or Manage Your Business – Part 1 of 2
Date: August 2, 2018 | 4:00 pm PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Sarah Espinosa | sespinos@uncfsu.edu | (910) 672-2683
Organization: Fayetteville State University Veterans Business Outreach Center
Fee: Free

Learn about no-cost software options from Google that can help you start or manage your business without adding extra costs to your bottom line.

Click here to register for this event and find information about Part 2 here.

After Lunch Webinar Series: A Small Business Guide to Intellectual Property
Date: August 9, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 2:30 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: rnsbdc@business.rutgers.edu | (973) 353-5950
Organization: Rutgers Newark (N.J.) SBDC
Fee: Free

If you have an idea, product, or service you believe in, you want to protect it. The Intellectual Property (IP) Basics Webinar is designed to give entrepreneurs, small business owners, and independent inventors the knowledge and tools to protect their assets and integrity of their business.

This workshop will help you to better understand the different types of IP and how to protect them. At the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Obtain a clear understanding of what intellectual property is
  • Differentiate between patents, trade secrets, copyright protection, and trademarks
  • Identify issues generally found in patents, trade secrets, copyrights, and trademarks
  • Obtain helpful resources for guidance

Click here to register for this event.

4 Easy Steps to Setting Up your Business Website
Date: August 15, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (678) 335-5600 ext. 120
Organization: Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs
Fee: Free

This webinar will cover four easy steps to set up a website that will drive business and increase sales:

  • Selecting a web domain and hosting service
  • Setting up a customized business email address
  • Choosing the best website for your brand
  • Including the right content for your website

Click here to register for this event.

We’re looking for upcoming events to promote to small business owners like you. If you have an event you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.


For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Kei found almost instant success when she launched her scones at Los Angeles farmers markets. As she grew Sugarbird Sweets, she needed working capital to keep up with demand. Two small business loans with Opportunity Fund have helped Kei keep Sugarbird on track for scalable growth.

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too.

Kei found almost instant success when she launched her scones at Los Angeles farmers markets. As she grew Sugarbird Sweets, she needed working capital to keep up with demand. Two small business loans with Opportunity Fund have helped Kei keep Sugarbird on track for scalable growth.

Recipe for Success

Kei Okumura started her small business selling batch-blended organic teas at Los Angeles area farmers markets. Sugarbird Sweets grew when she decided to add fresh baked scones to her offerings at the farmers markets. Her brand grew organically into wholesale to cafes and restaurants across Los Angeles.

“I studied pastry making in Paris at culinary school two years prior,” Kei said. “I applied my pastry background to figure out what would go well with tea. Scones were the perfect combination.”

Kei had to create something new and fresh to make her products stand out. She had a presence at some of the biggest and most competitive farmers markets for vendors, which allowed her to establish her new business.

Her built in customer base helped get the word out about Sugarbird’s new scone offerings. The initial two flavors, Mixed Berry and Dark Chocolate Chip, grew into over 18 different unique herb, tea, and seasonal fruit inspired combinations.

“People came every week to get the scones,” Kei said. “I started out with two dozen, then twenty dozen, then thirty dozen. We’d always sell out.”

Kei’s signature creation, the white chocolate matcha scone, helped propel her business to even bigger success. The increased demand put a strain on Sugarbird’s production capacity and resources.

“For five years, I was renting kitchen spaces to keep up with the farmers market and our wholesale clients,” Kei said. “As the markets and wholesale accounts got busier, I would get inquiries for catering tea parties. That became a huge part of Sugarbird and helped us grow organically.”

Kei was able to find her own space for Sugarbird in downtown Los Angeles, thanks to the immense growth of her business. Almost every step up to bigger sales meant a roadblock for Kei to overcome. The next phase came from selling her products wholesale to vendors like Mendocino Farms and opening an Amazon.com storefront.

“I needed additional funds to keep my business going,” Kei said. “It was difficult trying to manage all the  30 plus accounts. I was running into cash flow problems.”

Rising to the Challenge

Kei reached out to Opportunity Fund. She connected with loan consultant Robert Zapata, who helped close a $10,000 loan for Sugarbird Sweets in April 2016. The working capital helped Kei finance the necessary production increase and provided her with the right funding solution for her small business.

“I tried other lenders and banks,” she said. “I had a hard time with the SBA. It took over eight months.”

Robert took the time to understand Kei’s business and work with what she needed to grow. Kei applied for a second loan in May 2017 for $20,000 to help her continue Sugarbird’s scalable growth.

Sugarbird Sweets - Scones

Sugarbird’s freshly made scones are a huge hit around Los Angeles (photo courtesy of Michael Microulis)


“We’re looking for new ventures in the retail market,” Kei said. “We’re launching a product of frozen, ready to bake scones for the supermarket in 2019. I’m looking to grow marketing, budget, and production for that.”

We’re happy to support hardworking moms like Kei and we’re proud to watch her grow from a great idea at the farmer’s market to an up-and-coming retail brand.


We hope this story has inspired you, too.  At Opportunity Fund, we offer easy-to-get, fast, and affordable small business loans to help small business owners succeed.  Visit our home page to find out more.

Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from July 16 through 31.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from July 16 through 31.

Northern California/Sacramento

Before You Sign that Lease
Date: July 18, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:30 pm PDT
Location: 1500 MacDonald Ave. Richmond, CA 94801 (map it)
Contact: Lucero De Leon | ldeleon@rencenter.org | (510) 221-2003
Organization: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Fee: Free

The pre-printed lease form looks daunting and the broker is pressuring you to sign right now – but wait! There are many parts of office, retail, or other commercial leases that you can and should negotiate with the landlord to increase the odds of success for your business.

An experienced business and real estate attorney from the San Francisco Community Business Law Center will help you learn how to make well-informed commercial tenant decisions and prepare for landlord negotiations.

Although taught by an experienced business attorney, this class does not constitute legal advice.

Click here to register for this event.

Explore Your Psychology of Money – Build Financial Strength and Ease
Date: Starts July 19, 2018 | 5:30 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 205 Chestnut St. Mt. Shasta, CA 96067 (map it)
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute
Fee: $15

Building Financial Strength and Ease offers an overview of key psychology of money issues that either support your goals or hold you back. As our money cycles through four phases of activity—income, spending, saving, and investing—we need to manage each phase to make our daily financial habits support our goals. This seminar will help you get all your resources powered up and on track for more prosperous living.

Join us for two sessions July 19 and 26 to get answers to your questions about your business financial goals.

Topics include:

  • Realizing the amazing power of an income goal—and what stops us
  • Enhancing squirrel intelligence for better quality of life
  • Balancing today’s enjoyment with tomorrow’s plans
  • Positioning your money to grow
  • Implementing Aha! skills from Tapping into Wealth

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business Taxes
Date: July 24, 2018 | 3:00 pm PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: 455 Market St. Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: sfscore@sfscore.org | (415) 764-4964
Organization: San Francisco SCORE
Fee: $35

Tax laws are changing. Learn the IRS regulations that apply to small business owners and get answers to your tax questions in this informative and interactive live seminar. Topics covered include tax deductions and commonly used tax strategies for individuals, corporations, and LLCs.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Start-Up Workshop
Date: July 17, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: 2900 S. Crenshaw Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016 (map it)
Contact: Cathleen Hy | chy@pacela.org | (323) 293-6284
Organization: PACE Finance Corporation
Fee: Free

If you are planning to start your business and you want to start on the right track, please join us at our next Small Business Start-Up workshop. We’ll cover the nuts and bolts of starting a small business:

  • Start up cost of your business
  • Your target audience
  • Finding and retaining clients
  • 5 Cs of the loan application process
  • Business plan writing
  • Credit counseling and loan packaging
  • Basic licenses and permits: Business license, DBA. Seller’s permit. EIN
  • Types of business entities

Alternately, you can schedule an appointment to sit down with our counselors to see what steps you can begin to take towards setting up your business and giving it the best chance for success.

Click here to register for this event.

Social Media for the Busy Entrepreneur
Date: July 27, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: 8825 Aero Dr. Suite 102 San Diego, CA 92123 (map it)
Contact:  workshop0140@scorevolunteer.org | (858) 283-1100
Organization: San Diego SCORE
Fee: $20

Social media is a necessary component of business marketing. The most successful businesses on social media have developed a smart marketing strategy that includes setting goals and objectives, utilizing the best tools to engage with their target audience, and consistently analyzing their return on investment.

As a busy entrepreneur, you can do all these things above and still manage the other stresses of your job with the skills you’ll learn during this hands-on workshop. Learn how to make the most of your time and resources and unleash the power of social media to take your social engagement to the next level. You will learn the most relevant, proven tactics for social media success that will save you time and money.

Click here to register for this event.

Stress-Free Business Taxes
Date: July 28, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: 1003 East Cooley Dr. Suite 109 Colton, CA 92324 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

Take the stress out of preparing for your business taxes with this workshop. We’ll cover the basics, from business tax requirements through working from home to deductions, credits, and record keeping to get you ready for a stress-free tax day.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Outdo Your Competition by Optimizing Your Online Search Listing
Date: July 19, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: monmouthscore@gmail.com | (732) 224-2573
Organization: Monmouth (N.J.) SCORE
Fee: Free

Consumers use search engines to find information about local businesses. As local online marketing gets more competitive, the first page of Google search results gets smaller and smaller. You can make your business stand out with the tips from this free webinar. We’ll demonstrate how to optimize your Google My Business listing and other local search strategies.

Topics include:

  • Listings: The top online directories and citation sites to host your business listing
  • Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP): What is it and why it’s so important
  • Pictures: The right images to add to your listing and how to do it
  • The new Google My Business: How the Q&A feature can backfire if you’re not prepared
  • Maintaining your listing: Why frequently logging into your listing is crucial and how you can say ahead of your competition
  • Videos: Length, content, formats, and more
  • Local SEO strategies: How to find the gaps and beat your competitors to the punch

Please claim and verify your Google My Business listing before attending this webinar to get the most out of the material.

Click here to register for this event.

Discovering What Works in Social Media
Date: July 27, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: John Merlino | jmerl018@live.kutztown.edu | (973) 879-3549
Organization: Kutztown (Penn.) SBDC
Fee: Free

Join John Merlino, Kutztown SBDC social media guru, for this 45-minute webinar about discovering what works in social media.

Learn how to attract customers via social media by developing best practices for your business through integrating your goals with designing and tracking the performance of content relevant in your industry.

Click here to register for this event.

Low Cost Marketing Ideas
Date: July 30, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:30 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: info@TheInstituteNC.org | (919) 956-8889
Organization: The Women’s Business Center of North Carolina
Fee: Free

Learn how to create a marketing strategy that supports your business goals. This seminar will cover some of the best free and low-cost marketing tools and explore creative ways to promote your business without breaking the bank or your budget.

Click here to register for this event.

We’re looking for upcoming events to promote to small business owners like you. If you have an event you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.


For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Jill always dreamed of owning her own business and working for herself. When the right idea came along, she made her dreams possible through hard work. She grew her mobile pet grooming business with the help of small business loans from Opportunity Fund. Thanks to us, you can find Foxy Roxy’s Mobile Pet Salon in your area.

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too.

Jill always dreamed of owning her own business and working for herself. When the right idea came along, she made her dreams possible through hard work. She grew her mobile pet grooming business with the help of small business loans from Opportunity Fund. Thanks to us, you can find Foxy Roxy’s Mobile Pet Salon in your area.

Taking a Chance on a Great Idea

Jill Hailey started Foxy Roxy’s Mobile Pet Salon in Modesto in July 2014. While raising her family, Jill had dreams to start her own business with her husband Jonathan. The timing and ideas finally came together when they saw a mobile pet groomer on their street one day.

“The wait for an appointment was two months,” Jill said. “Jonathan saw the need for more mobile pet groomers in our area and said we should do that. But we knew nothing about grooming.”

Jonathan built the first van in their driveway, and Foxy Roxy was born. “We hired a groomer who taught us the grooming side of the business and Jonathan and I handled the rest,” Jill said. “From there, the business took off.

The company grew quickly from the single van operation to 10 employees and seven mobile grooming units today around Modesto, Pleasanton, and Santa Clara. Jill hires a groomer to operate each unit, which has a complete setup for dog grooming: baths, nail trim, fur drying, and space for the groomer’s tools and supplies. The runaway success was initially difficult to keep up with, even for the upstart Haileys.

Bath time

Dogs get deluxe treatment when Foxy Roxy comes to town (photo courtesy of Heimo Schmidt)

“Within three months of our launch our appointment schedule was booked out over a month,” Jill said. “We had to turn down customers. As we’ve added vans over these four years, we fill up our schedules until we’re booked out a month. When our customers say they can’t wait, we know it’s time to grow.”

When Hard Work Pays Off

Jill turned to a mobile dog grooming vehicle manufacturer to keep up with the demand for Foxy Roxy. She had fewer opportunities for financing due to a bankruptcy from her divorce. Then she got a tip about Opportunity Fund.

“It sounded too good to be true,” she said. Jill connected with our team, who helped her right away through understanding her situation and finding the right business financing solution for her. “I told them, I was the kind the bank won’t help. But they told me I was the kind they’re here to help.”

J & J

Jill and Jonathan share their business dreams as owners of Foxy Roxy’s Mobile Pet Grooming Salon (photo courtesy of Heimo Schmidt)

Our loan consultant Madieu Shyllon helped close a $10,000 loan for Foxy Roxy’s Mobile Pet Salon in August 2015. Since then, Jill has returned to us for four more loans to help purchase mobile grooming units:

  • $47,000 in November 2015
  • $79,000 in May 2016
  • $77,000 in June 2017
  • $82,000 in November 2017

Now with five loans and a thriving business that allowed Jonathan to quit his sales manager job to focus on their dream, Jill is looking to the future of Foxy Roxy. They opened their first brick and mortar location in San Diego this May, and they’re spreading their reach further throughout California.

We’re proud to watch Foxy Roxy grow and we’re honored to support the dreams of hardworking entrepreneurs like Jill.

We hope this story has inspired you, too.  At Opportunity Fund, we offer easy-to-get, fast, and affordable small business loans to help small business owners succeed.  Visit our home page to find out more.


Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.

Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from July 1 through 15.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from July 1 through 15.

Northern California/Sacramento

Coffee with a Business Advisor
Date: July 2, 2018 | 2:00 pm PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library—Third Floor: SJPL Works
150 E. San Fernando St. San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: sjplworks@sjlibrary.org | (408) 808-2310
Organization: SJPL Works
Fee: Free

Come and meet with expert business advisors with real world experience who help local businesses across many different industries. These advisors are here to answer your questions, provide guidance, and share feedback.

Registration is encouraged. Parking validation for 4th St. garage will be provided at the program.

Click here to register for this event.

Simple Steps for Starting Your Business
Date: July 9, 2018 | 6:30 pm PDT – 9:00 pm PDT
Location: Capitola City Hall—Community Room
420 Capitola Ave. Capitola, CA 95010 (map it)
Contact: John Yost | score0688@santacruzscore.org | (831) 621-3735
Organization: Santa Cruz SCORE
Fee: $20

This SCORE workshop can help you understand what it takes to successfully start a small business. The workshop is intended to help new and early-stage businesses by presenting a broad overview of subjects that will impact the success or failure of that of that business.

Pre-registration is suggested as seating is limited.

Click here to register for this event.

Modesto: Business Startup
Date: July 10, 2018 | 8:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: 1625 I St. Modesto, CA 95354 (map it)
Contact: Peni Hogwood | phogwood@valleysierrasbdc.com | (209) 422-6416
Organization: Valley Sierra SBDC
Fee: Free

If you dream of owning your own business and think you have what it takes to be successful, this free two hour workshop is for you. Join Valley Sierra SBDC to learn the basics of starting a new business.

We’ll address your questions about business startup, including:

  • Is my idea viable?
  • What kind of financing will it take to open my business?
  • Why do I need a business plan?
  • What are the risks, pitfalls, and requirements of opening a new business?

Keep up with free monthly business startup workshops from Valley Sierra SBDC in Modesto, Los Banos, and Merced, every 2nd Tuesday and/or 3rd Thursday of the month. Click here for the center calendar.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

1-on-1 Business Counseling
Date: July 9, 2018 | 4:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Contact: Steve Meng | smeng@pacela.org | (213) 353-9400
Organization: PACE Finance Corporation
Fee: Free

PACE Business Loan Officer Steve Meng will be available at the Central Library to answer your business questions. Schedule your 1 on 1 appointment with him by email at smeng@pacela.org to discuss topics such as:

  • Starting a business in Los Angeles
  • Obtaining a license and permit
  • Writing a business plan
  • Marketing
  • Preparing a financial statement
  • And more

Please contact Steve for location information.

The ABCs of Starting Your Own Business
Date: July 12, 2018 | 4:00 pm PDT – 6:00 pm PDT
Location: Highgrove Public Library
530 Center St. Riverside, CA 92507 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: Free

Join this free workshop learn to start a business. In this workshop, we’ll explore the first steps to creating a business, the legal structure your business might take, funding sources that are available to small businesses, and why business planning plays such a big role in startup success.

Click here to register for this event.

Women’s Networking Breakfast
Date: July 13, 2018 | 7:45 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Sheraton Mission Valley
1433 Camino del Rio South San Diego, CA 92108 (map it)
Contact: score0140@scorevolunteer.org | (858) 283-1101
Organization: San Diego SCORE
Fee: $20 before July 6 | $25 after July 6

Join San Diego SCORE for the Women’s Networking Breakfast event: Everything You Need to Build a Business Enterprise Can Be Learned from Dr. Seuss.

Michelle Bergquist, nationally acclaimed author, award-winning entrepreneur, and professional speaker, presents this lively, entertaining, and powerful presentation on how to do build a successful business according to the wonderful world of Dr. Seuss. You’ll learn business lessons from classics like The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Horton Hears a Who, and more. You can also network with like-minded women entrepreneurs at this one of a kind event.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

After Lunch Webinar Series: Website & Social Media Strategies
Date: July 5, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 2:30 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: rnsbdc@business.rutgers.edu | (973) 353-5950
Organization: Rutgers Newark (N.J.) SBDC
Fee: Free

Customers use search engines everyday to find products and services. Think about this: 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. If your website isn’t showing up on the first page of a search engine for your product, service, or term, you’re missing out on potential customers!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures that your business shows up in the search engine. You can increase your web presence and visibility through SEO to get more customers and grow your business. This webinar will help you understand the fundamentals of SEO to incorporate into your business marketing strategy.

Topics include:

  • SEO: what is SEO and why you need it
  • The search engine: how it works and affects your website’s rank
  • SEO Strategies: what you can incorporate to increase your website’s visibility and rank
  • Blogs: why creating and updating your blog is key for your online presence
  • Social media: how social networking plays into your SEO strategy
  • Analytics: how to track and measure your results

Click here to register for this event.

Mastering Pinterest, Instagram, & LinkedIn For Business
Date: July 9, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 2:30 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Diana Cescolini | diana.cescolini@scorevolunteer.org | (951) 652-4390
Organization: Inland Empire SCORE
Fee: Free

Join this free webinar to learn how to use the most popular social media platforms to elevate your small business to success. Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn are powerful tools for your business. Start with these topics:

  • Posts: how, what, and when to post content
  • Automation: how social media scheduling will save time and money
  • Events: why social media is essential for promoting and sharing your events

Click here to register for this event.

How to File a Fictitious Business Name
Date: July 12, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (909) 448-1567
Organization: University of LaVerne SBDC
Fee: Free

Join The University of La Verne SBDC and the County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs to learn how to file your fictitious business name, also known as your dba.

Click here to register for this event.

We’re looking for upcoming events to promote to small business owners like you. If you have an event you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.


For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Alejandra made her dream to open her own cosmetics store come true through hard work. When she needed a small business loan to grow, Opportunity Fund was there to help. Thanks to our small business loans, Ale’s Bissu Makeup Store now has two locations in Corona.

 

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too.

Alejandra made her dream to open her own cosmetics store come true through hard work. When she needed a small business loan to grow, Opportunity Fund was there to help. Thanks to our small business loans, Ale’s Bissu Makeup Store now has two locations in Corona.

A Beautiful Dream of Business Ownership

Alejandra Dominguez started Ale’s Bissu Makeup Store in Corona in 2016. She made her dream to start her own cosmetics store happen, armed with a Wells Fargo credit card with a limit of $1,500. She worked with her husband Jorge to establish the business, which was a major change for her and her family.

“I used to be a normal housewife who was completely dependent on my husband’s income to buy everything for the house,” Alejandra said. “Before I started this business, I did not help financially in any way.”

Alejandra’s goals of business ownership remained strong. “I wanted to be independent and succeed in life,” she said.

As gifted makeup artist, Alejandra offers quality cosmetics and tools plus excellent customer service at Ale’s Bissu Makeup Store. “We sell high quality products at reasonable prices,” she said. “Our motto is to never have high prices.”

Ale's Bissu Makeup Store - Alejandra

Alejandra helps her customers find the right makeup (photo courtesy of Michael Microulis)


She also offers free makeup tutorial workshops for clients in her Corona neighborhood. “We noticed some clients may not be able to afford classes,” she said. “Our clients are our priority.  I’m excited to help people in my community.”

With a knack for beauty and a passion for helping people, Alejandra was set up for success. However, she ran into a snag when she needed a working capital loan to help grow her business.

Building a Strong Financial Foundation

She reached out to AMPAC Tri State CDC in the Inland Empire. As a key community partner of Opportunity Fund, they connected Alejandra to our loan consultant Adela Escobar. Adela helped close a $10,001 loan for Ale’s Bissu Makeup Store in November 2017, with a reduced rate thanks to our partnership with the Tory Burch Foundation to support women entrepreneurs. The loan helped Alejandra purchase more products for her store and later helped her expand the business.

Ale's Bissu Makeup Store - Alejandra and Adela

Alejandra worked with her loan consultant Adela to get the financing her business needed (photo courtesy of Michael Microulis)

“We decided to expand and rented a kiosk at Tyler Mall,” Alejandra said. Together with her staff–her husband Jorge and two other employees–Alejandra is operating two locations in Corona and keeping up with her pledge to help the community with better access to cosmetics and tutorials.

“I had been denied for credit with banks and credit unions, but Opportunity Fund believed in me and in my dreams,” she said.

Alejandra’s goals are growing alongside her business. “I want to provide employment to my community,” she said. “I came to this country from Mexico to stand out and be a successful person. My business has helped me understand my passion of being a businesswoman and helping people. Opportunity Fund will be part of my team for success.”

We’re proud to support entrepreneurs with big dreams like Alejandra and we’re proud to see her business and goals grow.

We hope this story has inspired you, too.  At Opportunity Fund, we offer easy-to-get, fast, and affordable small business loans to help small business owners succeed.  Visit our home page to find out more.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from June 15 through 30.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better.

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from June 15 through 30.

Northern California/Sacramento

IRS Forms of Ownership
Date: June 19, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: Veterans Business Outreach Center
4608 Duckhorn Dr. Sacramento, CA 95834 (map it)
Contact: Star Cochran | admin@vbocix.org | (916) 527-8400
Organization: Veterans Business Outreach Center
Fee: Free

One of the most critical decisions for new business owners is to decide which form of ownership will best meet your business needs.

Join this free seminar to learn about the different forms of ownership to choose from. We’ll help you understand the most common legal structures for businesses plus the pros and cons of each form of business entity.

Click here to register for this event.

Writing a Successful Business Plan
Date: June 19, 2018 | 2:00 pm PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: Berkeley Public Library
2090 Kittredge St. Berkeley, CA 94704 (map it)
Contact: Lee Lambert | seminars@acsbdc.org | (510) 208-0410
Organization: Alameda County SBDC
Fee: Free

What makes a good business plan? What are the key components of writing a compelling plan and what are investors looking for in your plan? This free seminar will help you write your best business plan ever!

Topics include:

  • Key components of a business plan
  • Key questions your business plan should answer
  • The importance of financial projections
  • The numbers investors look for in a plan
  • Critical numbers to manage and grow your business
  • Secrets to writing your best business plan

Click here to register for this event.

LinkedIn for Your Business
Date: June 21, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library—Third Floor: SJPL Works
150 E. San Fernando St. San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: sjplworks@sjlibrary.org | (408) 808-2310
Organization: SJPL Works
Fee: Free

This free seminar, LinkedIn for Business, teaches you how to create your business brand, promote your business, and identify key prospects.

Topics include:

  • Building your business brand
  • Optimizing your profile
  • Marketing your business
  • Targeting prospects

Registration is encouraged. Parking validation for 4th St. garage will be provided at the program.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Pricing for Profitability: Are You Charging What You’re Worth?
Date: June 20, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1003 E. Cooley Dr. Ste 109 Colton, CA 92324 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: Free

Are you challenged with how to competitively price your services? How do you know if you’re charging too much—or worse, too little? Pricing your services is one of the most important decisions you will make in your business. Find out what you must know to set your prices appropriately and competitively.

Click here to register for this event.

California Department of Veterans Affairs Veteran Business Forum 2018
Date: June 22, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: San Diego State University—Montezuma Hall: SDSU Student Union
5500 Campanile Dr. San Diego, CA 92182 (map it)
Contact: dvbe@calvet.ca.gov
Organization: California Department of Veterans Affairs
Fee: Free

The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) presents the Annual Veteran Business Forum sponsored by DGS and San Diego State University. The conference will provide veterans support and services to help them start, grow, and maintain their businesses. This free event is open to all veterans.

Join us for workshops (How to do Business with the State of California + Contracting with the State of California), Q&A panels, networking with California state agencies, and more!

Walkins are welcome, but to ensure a name tag and easy entrance, please register.

Click here to register for this event.

State Basic Payroll Tax & E-Services
Date: June 28, 2018 | 9:30 am PDT – 12:30 pm PDT
Location: BusinessSource Center West Valley
18645 Sherman Way #114 Reseda, CA 91335 (map it)
Contact: (818) 705-9977 | info@bscvalley.org
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

Join this free seminar and learn about key tools and resources for filing payroll taxes for your small business.

  • How and when to report state payroll taxes
  • How to distinguish between an employee and an independent contractor
  • What are independent contractor reporting requirements
  • Where to get assistance

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Copyrights, Patents, & Trademarks
Date: June 18, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: tbwbc@thecentre.org
Organization: The Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre
Fee: Free

Have you protected your invention, unique product or service, or the brand name and logo that you designed? Failure to safeguard your intellectual property can result in someone else infringing or violating what you have taken a great deal of time and capital to develop. Attend this workshop to learn the necessary steps to protect what you have created for the marketplace.

Click here to register for this event.

Business Continuity & Disaster Preparedness
Date: June 19, 2018 | 7:00 am PDT – 8:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Briana Williams | briawill@fiu.edu | (305) 779-9233
Organization: Florida SBDC
Fee: Free

Join this free webinar to learn how you can prepare for disaster and spare your small business lost time, money, property, and more.

Topics include:

  • Business continuity and disaster preparedness
  • Miami-Dade County emergency information
  • Free mobile apps to aid preparedness
  • Resources to protect against business interruption

Click here to register for this event.

Creativity at Work: Why Creative Thinking Matters and How to Tap It
Date: June 20, 2018 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:30 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute
Fee: Free

Small business owners—think about these questions for your business:

  • Do you have challenges in your business because traditional methods and strategies aren’t working?
  • Are there areas of your business where you need to think outside the box?
  • Is your business doing well, but you’re feeling creatively starved?
  • Do you want to see new opportunities and resources for your business?

This free webinar on creative thinking for your small business can help you find answers to these questions. To evolve our work, we need to see beyond our current mindset, systems, and methods. Business owners often get trapped in formulas that can become limiting. Traditional goal-setting methods don’t always work when pioneering new things.

Together we’ll learn how to look at your small business with a different, more expensive perspective plus find opportunities, resources, and methods to become a more creative thinker.

Click here to register for this event.

We’re looking for upcoming events to promote to small business owners like you. If you have an event you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.


For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from June 1 through 14.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from June 1 through 14.

Northern California/Sacramento

Building Business Websites
Date: Starts June 5, 2018 | 1:15 pm PDT – 2:45 pm PDT
Location: College of the Siskiyous—Yreka Campus TTC 32-101
2001 Campus Dr. Yreka, CA 96097 (map it)
Contact: registration@siskiyous.edu | (530) 938-5500
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI)
Fee: Free

Learn to create and maintain your own business website using the full range of designs and features available for CMS like WordPresswithout coding!

Join this free course offered by the College of the Siskiyous to learn how to build your business website. During this ten week course that meets twice per week, you’ll create a fully functional business website without studying programming language.

Topics include:

  • Online basics: websites, CMS, websites-as-a-service, hosted websites, domain names, hosting accounts
  • Major WordPress functions: posts, pages, plugins, themes, and users in this CMS environment
  • Components: evaluate, select, install, and use components for your website
  • Your content: add text, images, media, widgets, navigation elements, and links to a website
  • Live website: Secure and maintain your new website

The only requirement to attend this course is an internet browser. Bring your laptop and get ready to learn!

Register through College of the Siskiyous website or register in person at the office of enrollment Weed or Yreka campus.

2018 Tax Law Changes for Small Businesses–What You Need to Know
Date: June 6, 2018 | 6:30 pm PDT – 8:30 pm PDT
Location: DeVry University
8000 Jarvis Ave. Ste 220 Newark, CA 94560 (map it)
Contact: Suzanne Schafer | seminars@acsbdc.org | (510) 208-0410
Organization: Alameda County SBDC
Fee: Free

The new tax law represents the biggest overhaul of the tax code in 30 years. Many provisions have a significant impact on small businesses. Don’t wait until the end of the year to understand how these laws impact you! Advance planning may save significant amounts in your taxes.

In this seminar, we will discuss the following:

  • Tax implications of different business structures (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
  • Pass-through deductions impact on small businesses
  • Changes in personal and corporate tax rates
  • Changes in the treatment of certain business expenses
  • Planning opportunities to prepare for tax season

Click here to register for this event.

Fashion Series: Fashion Manufacturing: Bridging Concept with Reality
Date: June 7, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 275 5th St. San Francisco, CA 94103 (map it)
Contact: Fatimah Aure | faure@rencenter.org | (415) 348-6217
Organization: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Fee: $15

In this Fashion series workshop meet business consultant and fashion business owner Lenore Espanola, who will walk you through manufacturing options including overseas, domestic, and local options.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Money Smart for Small Businesses
Date: Starts June 2, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: Cathay Bank
9650 Flair Dr. El Monte, CA 91731 (map it)
Contact: Colleen Seto | cseto@ltsc.org | (213) 473-1605
Organization: Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program
Fee: Free

Join this introductory 2-day business course on June 2 and 9 designed for new business owners, self-employed individuals, and aspiring entrepreneurs. Get started on better money management skills for your small business with this curriculum developed by the FDIC and SBA. Breakfast, lunch, and course materials will be provided by Cathay Bank. Limited seating is available–advance registration is required. Free parking is available behind the Cathay Bank building.

Topics include:

  • Time management
  • Startup planning
  • Recordkeeping
  • Banking services
  • Risk management
  • Insurance

Click here to register for this event.

Entrepreneur Training Program
Date: Starts June 8, 2018 | 2:00 pm PDT – 3:30 pm PDT
Location: 5701 S. Eastern Ave. Ste 108 Commerce, CA 90040 (map it)
Contact: Alex Alvarez | alex.alvarez@operationhope.org | (323) 697-6202
Organization: Operation Hope
Fee: Free

This 12-week course for entrepreneurs will help you succeed in business with practical tips from subject matter experts. Join us every Friday starting June 8 for this free course and get on your way to being the boss of your business.

Topics include:

  • Market research
  • Feasible business
  • Start-up funding
  • And more!

Contact Alex Alvarez at (323) 697-6202 to register for this event.

Small Business Accounting for Non-Accountants
Date: June 9, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: 1003 E. Cooley Dr. Ste 109 Colton, CA 92324 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: Free

Are you earning money and paying bills, but don’t know how to make sense of your numbers? Do you want to understand your finances and feel confident to make strategic decisions that will benefit your business and your future? Join us to make sense of your numbers and create a greater impact in your business and life.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Using Census Data to Size Up Your New or Existing Business
Date: June 5, 2018 | 7:30 am PDT – 8:30 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (470) 891-5576
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration Georgia District Office
Fee: Free

Census data is an essential tool for entrepreneurs at any stage to get started or grow their business. Join this free webinar to get smart about your business through census data.

Topics include:

  • How to use industry terms to successfully plan, jump start, and run your business
  • How to use NAICS codes to locate and zoom in on business opportunities
  • How to use verifiable industry analysis census data to accelerate your business
  • How to use census data to measure your business and find growth opportunities

Click here to register for this event.

Let’s Talk Business! How to Multiply Yourself as a Brand with Social Media
Date: June 6, 2018 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Ryan Norskog | rnorskog@thurstonedc.com | (360) 464-6060
Organization: Washington Center for Women in Business
Fee: Free

Learn how to use social media to market yourself as a brand and multiply your encounters with the marketplace.

Click here to register for this event.

Payday Loans & Predatory Lending
Date: June 12, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (414) 263-5450
Organization: Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation
Fee: Free

Borrowing money can be intimidating. Join us to learn smart borrowing practices, your rights as a borrower, and how to avoid being a victim of predatory lending.

Click here to register for this event.

We’re looking for upcoming events to promote to small business owners like you. If you have an event you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.


For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Marcia built a successful boutique in Los Angeles on a long career in fashion. When she needed a small business loan, she got a high interest rate that almost crippled her business. Opportunity Fund was there to help her refinance the loan and set her on the path to financial success.

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too.

Marcia built a successful boutique in Los Angeles on a long career in fashion. When she needed a small business loan, she got a high interest rate that almost crippled her business. Opportunity Fund was there to help her refinance the loan and set her on the path to financial success.

Starting a Career from Scratch

Marcia Charles has worked in fashion all her life. She started out working at department store warehouses in the Bronx at age 15. Over the next 35 years she grew into a self-taught fashion designer and merchandiser and self-made small business owner.

Marcia opened Pinky Rose Boutique in 2003 in Los Angeles. She works with wholesalers to stock up her boutique with the latest styles in clothes and accessories, plus she showcases her own designs.

“I created the Nadda dress,” Marcia said. “it’s not a dress but like a jumpsuit, comfortable with built in pockets that work as a belt and can be worn five different ways.”

Marcia’s leadership extends beyond her innovative fashions. She helped establish the business neighborhood around her boutique. “I work with people in the community to improve the neighborhood for small businesses,” she said. “I was the first boutique on the street. Along with two other restaurants, we were the first businesses here. When I started, there was nothing on the street.”

Now in her 60s, Marcia is using her experience and wisdom to keep her business going in a tough industry while building up her own fashion brand. She needed a small business loan to help with working capital. She ran into problems with her first lender Kabbage, a company that charged her a 45% interest rate that killed her business cash flow.

She needed a trustworthy and transparent lender who understood her business. Opportunity Fund was there to answer her call.

Finding the Right Fit for Financing

Marcia came to us through our community partner BusinessSource LA. After connecting with Marcia, our loan consultant Robert Zapata helped her understand what we do for small business owners and how we’re different from high interest alternative lenders. It helped her make the choice to work with us for her small business financing needs. Robert was able to close a loan for $7,500 in October 2015.

“It helped me pay off the Kabbage loan and get a lower interest rate,” she said. “That helped me stay in business, because the Kabbage loan would have probably put me out of business.”

Marcia - Pinky Rose Boutique

Our small business loans are helping Marcia keep the latest fashions in stock (photo courtesy of Michael Microulis)


She came back to us for three more loans to help with her wholesale expenses:

  • $15,000 in September 2016
  • $18,000 in February 2017
  • $25,000 in January 2018

“It’s helped me grow over the past three years,” she said. “Without Opportunity Fund I wouldn’t have the money to do it.”

Marcia’s vision for the future of Pinky Rose Boutique includes expanding to a second location that houses only her original designs and establish her comfort couture brand.

We’re excited to see the next designs coming from Pinky Rose and we’re honored to support hard working entrepreneurs like Marcia.


We hope this story has inspired you, too.  At Opportunity Fund, we offer easy-to-get, fast, and affordable small business loans to help small business owners succeed.  Visit our home page to find out more.

Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from May 17 through 31.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from May 17 through 31.

Northern California/Sacramento

From Kitchen to Market
Date: May 17, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: College of Marin—Indian Valley Campus
1800 Ignacio Blvd. Novato, CA  94949 (map it)
Contact: (415) 485-9305
Organization: Marin SBDC
Fee: $25 (includes a take-home packet with worksheets and resource guides)

Have you thought of taking that delicious family recipe and turning it into a business? Do you already own a food manufacturing business and want to expand?

Join this workshop to gain a competitive edge and learn about the rapidly growing specialty food industry. SBDC Specialty Foods Business Advisor Anni Minuzzo presents this three hour workshop. Gain insights from her 30 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, 20 of which were spent owning a wholesale baking company.

Topics include:

  • Planning and production process
  • Contacts to help get you started
  • Capitalization options

Click here to register for this event.

Take Better Photos for Your Business With the Camera You Already Have
Date: May 18, 2018 | 8:30 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: 455 Market St. Ste. 600 San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: sfomail@sba.gov
Organization: SBA San Francisco District Office
Fee: Free

If you’re struggling to connect with your audience or your photography isn’t meeting the results your business needs, this free workshop can help.

Join us for a 90 minute workshop and learn how to create storytelling images that will make your brand stand out—using the equipment you already own! From cell phones to DSLRs, chances are you already own a great camera. Learn and techniques that will immediately improve the results your photos produce.

Click here to register for this event.

CCT Business Plan Workshop 2018
Date: May 22, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Seminary Campus—B.C. Lounge
4815 East Butler Ave. Fresno, CA 93727 (map it)
Contact: Carlos Huerta | Carlos.Huerta@fresno.edu | (559) 453-2374 or Jeanatte Jaurena | Jeanette.Jaurena@fresno.edu | (559) 453-2367
Organization: Center for Community Transformation—Fresno Pacific University
Fee: Free

Can you make a difference and make money?

Learn how to become financially sustainable and accomplish your social mission in this free Social Business Plan Workshop. Join like-minded entrepreneurs interested in Social Enterprise, a rapidly-growing category of business nationwide.

The best idea of the day will also win a $100 cash prize!

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Time Management
Date: May 23, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1003 E. Cooley Dr. Suite 109 Colton, CA 92324 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

If you’re doing more and enjoying it less, it’s time to make real choices about how and when to spend your time.

Join professional organizer Donna Buckner of Organizing Solutions and learn to analyze your day and prioritize your time based on what you really need to accomplish. Find balance, achieve your goals, and be more productive and efficient.

Click here to register for this event.

Start-Up Workshop
Date: May 24, 2018 | 3:00 pm PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: 1055 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 900B Los Angeles, CA 90017 (map it)
Contact: Daniel Ing | ding@pacela.org | (213) 353-9400
Organization: PACE Finance Corporation
Fee: Free

If you are planning to start your business and you want to start on the right track, please join us at our next Small Business Start up workshop.

Topics include:

  • Start-up costs of your business
  • Your target audience
  • Your client base
  • 5 Cs of the loan application process
  • Business plans
  • Credit counseling
  • Loan packaging
  • Basic licenses and permits including business license, DBA, Seller’s Permit. EIN
  • Types of business entities

Click here to register for this event.

Basic Web Design
Date: May 24, 2018 | 5:00 pm PDT – 7:00 pm PDT
Location: 13420 Van Nuys Blvd. Ste. 121 Pacoima, CA 91331 (map it)
Contact: info@bscvalley.org | (818) 834-0577
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

Learn the basic elements of a high converting website and walk through two drag-and-drop platforms that make it easy and inexpensive to create a website your customers will love. Understand why SEO matters and website navigate settings to customize your site. Then learn how to source the royalty free images and write the content that you will plug into your template. Hit publish and you’re done!

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Online QuickBooks for Beginners I
Date: May 18, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:30 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Shaunda Gates | shaundagates@boisestate.edu | (208) 426-3875
Organization: Idaho Small Business Development Center
Fee: $25

Join other small business owners and entrepreneurs and learn how to get started with Online QuickBooks in this webinar.

Participants in this workshop will be taught lessons on the following topics:

  • Getting Started and Setting up QuickBooks
  • Syncing Bank Accounts and Recording Transactions
  • Adding New Customers
  • Entering Sales Information (including the basics of invoicing)
  • Receiving Payments and Making Deposits

Please note: registrants will be emailed instructions on the login procedure one-day prior to the workshop. This class applies to QuickBooks for Online users only.

Click here to register for this event.

Essentials for Starting a Small Business
Date: Starts May 21, 2018
Location: Online—Webinar on demand
Contact: sbdc@sunyocc.edu | (315) 498-6070
Organization: Onondaga (N.Y.) SBDC
Fee: $35

The Essentials for Starting a Small Business is an online on demand course designed to create awareness for people who are interested in starting their own business with an emphasis on risk management.

Topics include:

  • Different types of entities
  • Legalities that go along with starting a business
  • Business plan development
  • Financials associated with starting a business

This course is a 6 week (approximately 10 hour) commitment, and uses the Blackboard management learning system for anytime, anywhere learning.

Click here to register for this event.

Inspire Innovation in Your Small Business
Date: May 31, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: contact.northeastnj@scorevolunteer.org | (201) 336-6090
Organization: SCORE Northeast New Jersey
Fee: Free

Do you know why your company struggles with innovation? What obstacles stifle your creativity? How can you develop your next product or sell your next service?

During this webinar, award-winning inventor, entrepreneur, and author Lon Safko will show you how to get creative and inspire innovative thinking to make your small business thrive.

You will learn:

  • How your brain functions (or doesn’t)
  • Why creative thinking is difficult
  • How to use random association exercises that teach your brain to generate new ideas
  • How to overcome obstacles and excel at creativity everyday
  • How to become your own innovation thought leader

Click here to register for this event. 

We’re looking for upcoming events to promote to small business owners like you. If you have an event you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.


For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Opportunity Fund. Working Capital for Working People. opportunityfund.org